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Custom House double murder: Bodies found in freezer were fully clothed on top of each other

PUBLISHED: 14:30 01 May 2019 | UPDATED: 15:57 01 May 2019

Police at the scene in Vandome Close, Custom House. Picture: Jon King

Police at the scene in Vandome Close, Custom House. Picture: Jon King

Jon King

The bodies of the two women who were found in a freezer inside a council flat in Custom House were fully clothed and on top of each other.

The window of a ground floor flat has been covered up. Picture: Jon KingThe window of a ground floor flat has been covered up. Picture: Jon King

Officers made the gruesome discovery at the property in Vandome Close on Friday, following concerns about a man who lived there.

One of the investigating officers described the case as 'one most challenging and complex' he has to deal with during his 28-year career.

Det Ch Insp Simon Harding, who is leading the hunt, said at a press conference today: “The two women were fully clothed and found in a chest freezer on top of each other.

“I have a full homicide team working day and night on this case and we are continuing work to build up a comprehensive picture of activity that took place at this address in Vandome Close.”

A vigil is due to be held one year after Mary Jane Mustafa went missing. Picture: AYSE HUSSEINA vigil is due to be held one year after Mary Jane Mustafa went missing. Picture: AYSE HUSSEIN

Commenting on rumours that the property was known as a drugs den, he said: “We know it is a property that various people used to stay at, transient members of the community who moved from address to address.

“It is also linked to drug activity. It is too early to say whether either of our victims had a similar lifestyle and again I would ask people to be respectful and not speculate.

“I have encountered many crime scenes over 28 years and this one of the most challenging and complex to deal with.”

“I would appeal to anyone who has visited this address over the last year, or has information about people who frequented the property to come forward and speak to my team.

“I am aware that casts a wide net in terms of my appeal but we do need to build up an accurate picture of life at that flat and what occurred there.”

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A 50-year-old man who was arrested on suspicion of murder on Monday has been released under police investigation.

A 34-year-old man held yesterday on suspicion of murder is currently in police custody. Officers have been granted an additional 12 hours to question him.

A post mortem on both victims will take place on Friday but police say it could be days before the causes of their deaths will be determined.

Det Ch Insp Harding added: “At the heart of this investigation are two women who were found inside this address and my primary focus is to identify them and inform their families.

“We have checked the DNA but no results yet.

“I can assure you that we are doing this as fast as is possible given the circumstances using a number of approved methods as part of formal identification processes.”

Ayse Hussein is the cousin of Canning Town mother-of-two Mary Jane Mustafa who went missing last year.

She told the Recorder: “Until we get confirmation from the police we don't know anything.

“The police will tell us who it is. We're just sitting here waiting.”

Mary Jane left for a visit to the shops on May 6 with just her phone and £3 in her pocket.

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